Tag: wine

The sky above English gastronomy is full of Michelin stars

 TAGS:undefinedThe publication of the new Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland is always a highlight for fans of gastronomy, famous chefs and the best restaurants. London is one of the best rated cities world wide for culinary art and year after year is awarded various Michelin stars.

Of the 17 new entries in the Michelin Guide for London 2016, there are 15 restaurants awarded 1 star and 2 new restaurants awarded 2 stars: The Japanese restaurants Araki and Umu both gained 2 stars.

The sushi restaurant Araki, which opened its doors in Mayfair last summer, asks £ 300 per person for its omakase menu. It is supervised by chef Mitsuhiro Araki, who closed a three-Michelin starred restaurant in Tokyo in 2013 to open this one in London.

“It is a big compliment to London, that Sushi master Mitsuhiro Araki closed his three-starred restaurant in Tokyo to go to the United Kingdom and challenge himself in a different culture”, says Rebecca Burr, editor of the Michelin Guide.

Umu is a very different kind of Japanese restaurant. Its chef Yoshinor Ishii has constantly improved his cooking and brought it to a completely new level.”

Four more London restaurants were awarded one star, one of them is the modern British restaurant Lyle’s of James Lowe in Shoreditch, furthermore, Bonhams in Mayfair, The Portland in Regent Park and the restaurant of the Goring hotel in Victoria.

Among the one-star-winning restaurants outside London there are the Carters of Moseley in the West Midlands, the Gravetye Manor in West Sussex, The Man Behind the Curtain in West Yorkshire, John’s House in Leicestershire, Woodpeen in West Berkshire and the House of Tides in Tyne and Wear.

In Scotland The Cellar in Anstruther gained 1 star, just as Eipic and OX in Belfast, The Greenhouse in Dublin and Loam in Galway. 13 restaurants lost their outstanding Michelin-star qualification, among them Gordon Ramsay’s Maze in Mayfair, formerly led by  Jason Atherton, and the Indian restaurant Rasoi in Chelsea.

Be it as it may, London’s cooking is on top of the world and the city’s best restaurants have thrown their hats in the ring for the title of the World’s Best Restaurant, at the moment hold by the great El Celler de Can Roca.

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Coto de Imaz Reserva 2010: a red wine from the Rioja DO with a blend based on tempranillo of 2010 and has a volume of alcohol of 13.5º.

 

 

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Castle Of Dracula Marsecco Red Delle Venezie Vino Frizzante Semisecco: a sparkling wine from the Veneto DO and with an alcohol content of 10.5º. 

 

 

Are you aware of the benefits of wine on health? Discover them now!

 TAGS:undefinedDrinking wine is an undisputable joy. The better if it comes with a great number of advantages for our health. Do you want to know which ones?

Among others, wine improves the memory, helps prevent the apparition of cataracts as well as improve our cardiovascular system and even diminishes tooth decay.

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But why does wine bring so many advantages for your health? One of the keys lies in the resveratrol, a vegetal component (polyphenols), which is found in red grapes’ skins as well as seeds and contains multiple benefits for your organism. Containing more of this component, red wine delivers far more benefits than white wine.

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Well, now you know, if you maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly and drink one of two glasses of red wine per day as per the World Health Organization, your body will benefit from the numerous advantages of wine. Would you like to discover all of them? See our infographic!

 

5 places in Italy for food lovers

 TAGS:undefinedThere a special places you don’t want to miss knowing if you are a fan of good food and you like traveling Italy. Today we present you 5 locations to give you an idea.

1) Romagna

Being surrounded by impressive woods, they stand out for their hospitality for about two decades now: Giovanni and Cristina welcome travelers with breakfast, homemade cakes, pies and jams made from organic fruit of their own orchard. Furthermore, their subtly sweet licors, Parma sausages, zucchini filled pasta, amaretti cookies among others. The hosts are always ready to suggest hidden, unknown places to have dinner. During mushroom season, Giovanni offers field trips to visitors from around the world.

2) Agriturismo Corte d’Aibo, Emilia-Romagna

Autumn in Emilia-Romagna means wine, truffles, mushroomes, and chestnuts. The Agroturismo Corte d’Aibo is an organic farm and vineyard, located 25 kilometers west of Bologna, in the hills of the Apennines. The vineyard produces 6 red wines and 6 white wines, made from grapes of its own backyard. The recommendation is to take a bottle of Pignoletto with lunch and a tour of the winery. The menu includes specialties like tagliatelle with ragout and risotto with truffles and Parmigiano-Reggiano such as local dishes.

3) Masseria Il Frantoio, Puglia

Before lunch and dinner, Armando Balestrazzi gives a tour around Masseria Il Frantoio, close to Ostuni. They own 4.000 olive trees – many of them planted by the ancient Romans -, a citrus orchard from the 17th century, and a Moorish style garden. Armando and his wife Rosalba bought this 500-year-old property 15 years ago and turned it into a restaurant and a hotel with 19 rooms. Rosalba takes care of the cooking, and her 8 courses lunch paired ip with wines from Puglia and different olive oils is a real challenge. One of her typical meals could consist of: pizzelle (discs of fried pasta similar to Indian puris) with fresh tomato sauce, zucchini and shrimp fritters, green beans, baked goat cheese with saffron and pear jam, homemade pasta laganelle with zucchini and carrots, roast lamb with potatoes, garden salad with fresh almonds and rose petals, and lemon pie.

4) Le Campestre, Campania

After living in Belgium for decades, the Lombardi family returned to Italy to build up organic Agroturism. Le Campestre is a farm with rooms and a restaurant, a property located in the region of Campania Alto Casertano, that is famous for its olive oil, the buffalo, goat chees and its rustic breads. Meals are served on a terrace overlooking the nearby valley and mountainsides. The guests stay in simple rooms and participate in the daily tasks of the farm, such as the olive harvest. They also offer vooking classes.

5) Bio Agriturismo Valle Scannese, Abruzzo

Gregorio Rotolo is famous for his cheese: round blocks of pecorino, flat ashlers of aromatic stracchino and tender ricotta, each of them with a distinctive green and silver label. Gregorio and his family hava a biodynamic farm, more that 1.500 sheep and agroturism. The location is excellent, on the edge of the Abruzzo National Park, it is run by the family itself and has 17 cozy and comfortable rooms, and the food is wonderful.

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Quota 29 Primitivo 2012: a red wine with Salento DO with the best bunches of 2012 primitivo and 14º of volume of alcohol. 

 

 

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Cantine San Marzano Primitivo di Manduria Sessantanni I Giganti 2012:  red wine from Puglia DO with primitivo of 2012 and 14.5º of alcohol. 

 

 

Some songs about wine

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Wine is closely linked to bar or restaurant songs. Although wine has now refined, once it was connected with visits to wine bars where sipping wine in small glasses. Here were sung countless songs that have become totally traditional. Here are some of them:

Bottle of Red Wine by Eric Clapton. A familiar song by Eric Clapton extolling red wine over many other drinks.

Blood Red Wine by the Rolling Stones. One of the songs of the legendary band. As always, powerful rock is the protagonist of the track.

Red Red Wine, by UB 40 and Neil Diamond. A song that became very popular during the 80s and 90s, but its origin is previous, by Neil Diamond. A perfect song to dance, which was a milestone in the clubs.

 

 

Champagne Supernova by Oasis. A documentary about champagne inspired Noel Gallagher to name this song after the most glamourous drink in th world. “Some day you will find me caught beneath the landslide. In a champagne supernova – A champagne supernova in the sky”.

Ironic by Alanis Morrisette. One of the most famous hits on 1996 included a Chardonnay mention in the lyrics. “It’s a black fly in your ChardonnayIt’s a death row pardon two minutes too late. And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think”.

And what about you? Do you have any favourite song about wine?

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Wines That Rock Rolling Stones Forty Licks Merlot 2012

 

 

The best drinks for the reception at a business event

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A new year starts and, with it, corporate meetings, fair events, presentations and others social meetings where organizations will be represented. When the time comes to organize such events, the drinks offered are fundamental, as well as the catering, which should be available to everyone and should suit different tastes.

To accompany appetizers, most of them light, small and both hot and cold, a good idea is to start with champagne cocktails. They usually are served in glasses in the moment of making a first contact with everyone at the time of stopping to eat these delicacies.

Depending on the time that the appetizer is served, it is also important to have juices (two different natural juices will be enough) and some soft drinks, since some people may be very thirsty after the business event held.

After the glass of champagne cocktail, the tables should have white wine and red wine. Such wines are recommended to be low in alcohol, but high in quality, and from designations of origin related to the place where the event is held or from where the company comes. It is always better to serve local wines, as the attendants, some of them surely wine connoisseurs, may taste the specialities of each place.

Along with wines, beers must also excel in case someone does not want or can drink wine, being a much more refreshing drink. It is also advisable to serve local beer or even better, to give a different touch, craft beer.

Vermouth is also appreciated in such events. White vermouth is more elegant and low in alcohol. In other parties often they serve cocktails at the entrance of the reception, which can be alcohol free, something refreshing that leaves a good taste to get into the meal or to get back to business events ahead. While giving an original cocktail with a dash of alcohol is always pleasant for the attendants.

In many corporate events, depending on the type of organization and action, it is best to have the classics in terms of drinks: a prestigious champagne, the most consumed local beer, a wine of a known designation or a cocktail with familiar flavours.

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Mumm Cordon Rouge Jeroboam: is a sparkling wine with DO Champagne from the G.H. Mumm cellar.

 

 

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Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial: a sparkling wine from the Champagne French region.

 

 

Wineries and wines from Penedès

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The Penedès wine region is probably one of the most characteristic and recognized of Catalunya, especially as the main place of production of cava, Catalan sparkling wine par excellence.

But in this Designation of Origin we can find more than cava, since in its over 27,000 hectares of vineyards there are produced grapes intended for the elaboration of white, rosé and, in a lesser extent, red wines. The extension of vineyards of Penedès includes 47 municipalities in the province of Barcelona and 16 in the province of Tarragona, with its headquarters located in Vilafranca del Penedès, and is remarkable for its great variety of microclimates, which makes this grape production to present countless distinctive features, depending on the environment.

The cultivated varieties include the more international Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but we can also find more specific grapes of the Iberian Peninsula, as Cariñena, Tempranillo and Garnacha Tinta, and some local (Monastrell, Samsó, Xarel·lo and Macabeu).

Among the most prominent cellars in the region, we can find firms as recognized as Agusti Torelló i Mata, Blancher, Caves Hill, Gramona, Jaume Serra, Juvé y Camps, Pinord, Raventós i Blanc, René Barbier, Sumarroca, in addition to many small producers which, however, are able to offer real jewels thanks to a know-how that comes from their experience of generations of grape growers and oenologists.

Internationally acclaimed wines

If we look at the results of the last Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, one of the most prestigious awards in the international world of wine, among its winners we find several references from the DO Penedès, like Cossetània Tinto Reserva 2009 (Bodega Castell d’Or), Gran Clot dels Oms Negre 2011 and Xarel·lo 2013 (Bodegues Ca N’Estella), Parató Passió 2006 (Parató) and Vino Pata Negra 2014 (Jaume Serra – J. García Carrión).

A small sample of what the tradition of the Penedès wine can get and that we recommend you try if you have not already done so.

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Iohannes Reserva 2006: a red wine with Penedes DO from Juvé y Camps cellar

 

 

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Rocaplana 2013: a red wine from Penedes DO of Oriol Rossell cellar is made with syrah 

 

 

Tips for choosing a wine cellar

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Before you choose and install a wine cellar appliance at home or in the cellar or at a restaurant, you need to clear some parameters, many of which are related to temperature, but also with other aspects to be taken into account.

System type

Some more sophisticated wine cellars take into account the type of system, being the thermoelectric the ones that contribute the biggest advantages to wine conservation. For example, it does not produces vibrations nor noise that can damage the wine, as well as being environmentally friendly. Although it is recommended for internal use at home and not for professionals.

Size

This feature is essential when choosing a wine cellar, since we must think of the available space we have and how many wines we will store in it, in order to get the right size to avoid wasting space and money.

Where we will place it

The wine cellar can not be anywhere. It is better to place it in the coolest places at home, with no direct sunlight. The temperature of the place in which we will place it is also important, and it is recommended not to leave it near other appliances that we usually have at home.

Energy consumption

There is another factor to consider when we have to buy a wine cellar. Although they usually do not have a high energy consumption, it is always better to spend less, and buy them with an “A” certification.

Temperature

It is essential, but all wine cellars are prepared to preserve and maintain wine at its proper temperature, with modern and automatic systems that make us easier to leave wine do its course and be savoured instantly, from the wine cellar to your palate.

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Wine Cellar 10S

 

 

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Wine cellar 8 bottles

Food markets in Madrid

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Madrid stands out by its gastronomy in the form of food markets, some of them of great tradition and some new. In fact, in the city there are many markets, and it is difficult to choose those who deserve to be highlighted.

San Anton market is one of them, located in the square that bears its name, Anton Martín, in Chueca. It had some renovations and is noted for the many activities taking place in it. Cultural projections join gastronomy and the purchase of various products such as wine of several Designations of Origin. In total, it hosts 26 different market stalls.

In the district of Salamanca, the Platea market will delight the lovers of the freshest food. This former cinema is today a gastronomic project that sets tongues wagging because in it we can find 20 different stalls to buy, renowned restaurants to make a stop and taste the best dishes from the most famous chefs. There are stars such as Roncero, Freixa or Solla that have a presence in its restaurants.

The organic market Huerto Lucas is an innovation. Located in Chueca, there is food, wine, cosmetics and much more, everything always 100% organic. And it has several workshops and activities. It is fashionable, along with growing taste for everything “green”, so it also houses tapas bars and restaurants.

The San Fernando market hosts multiple options. On the one hand there are many food stalls, such as those concerning celiac people, while there are also shows and even emblematic shops, including a famous book store selling by weight. The Barceló market, which has 7,150 square meters on four levels and has opened recently after continuous renovations. Food is the star, with traditional stalls but also modern and alternative specialized craft shops.

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El Rincón 2010: is a red wine with DO Madrid from the Pagos de Familia de Marqués de Griñón cellar based on the top of garnacha tinta and syrah from 2010 vintage and with an alcohol content of 14º.

 

 

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La Bruja Averia 2014: a red wine with Madrid DO made with garnacha of 2014 and has an alcohol content of 14º. L

How to clean wine stains?

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Sure has happened to us that we stumbled upon a glass of wine in a meeting and we get a stain on our clothes. Wine stains may be a little difficult to remove and depending on the type of fabric you must use different methods.

  • For dry wine stains you should leave the stain to soak in some warm milk until you see how it disappears. Then you can wash the garment as you usually do.
  • For fresh wine stains: pour some salt on them and then proceed to wash the garment with soap and water.
  • To get rid of white wine stains there are several options: If it is a thick fabric, you can wash it with warm water and soap, if it is a more delicate fabric you can rub it with alcohol before wetting it. You can also put a splash of lemon juice or fine salt.
  • To remove red wine stains on tablecloths fabric, rub them with white wine.
  • For red wine stains on shirts or blouses, you can can rub them with cold water mixed with a touch of ammonia. A second option is to mix liquid soap with peroxide and apply it to the stain.
  • To remove wine stains on carpets: Dissolve 1 tablespoon of detergent and 1 tablespoon of ammonia in a glass of warm water. Dampen a sponge with the mix and then rub the stain. Finally rinse with water and vinegar and let dry.
  • To remove red wine stains on marble: Use a damp cloth if it is fresh and if it is dry, mix a splash of bleach with a some water to clean.
  • To clean red wine stains on the walls, whether they are painted or papered, you can clean with white wine and finish with hydrogen peroxide diluted in water.

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Borsao Selección 2014: The current vintage of Borsao Selección as well as the previous ones have received medals and awards from some of the most prestigious international competitions.

 

 

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La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Magnum 2004:  a red wine from Rioja DO of La Rioja Alta cellar made with tempranillo and graciano of 2004 and 12.5º of volume of alcohol. 

Image: Geoff (flickr)

Portugal, land of wine: Dão and Beiras

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“Terras do Dão” is synonymous with ‘Lands of Wine’ and people say, that you can even smell the roses in Beira Alta wine. The Beiras Region crosses Portugal from side to side, from the Atlantic to the border with Spain; to the North by the Minho and the Douro river and to the south by the Alto Alentejo and Ribatejo, counting on five designations of origin.

In 2011, the appellation called ‘Terras da Beira‘ was created, containing three designated regions: Dão, Bairrada and Beira Interior.

Dão white wines are rather fruity while reds are full-bodied with a velvety taste. In this plain region, which is beautifully surrounded by mountains that protect the vines from the winds, there are properties many centuries old, cellars, agricultural cooperatives and associations devoted to the production and tasting of wine.

This is also the case of Quinta do Cabriz in Carregal do Sal, one of the country’s leading wine producers. Several times awarded, their white, red and sparkling wines (with Touriga Nacional rosé) ensure a good relationship between quality and price. The exception to low price is its ‘vino de topo‘, the Cabriz Four C, produced with 4 Portuguese strains of great quality. Another major wine-producing property in this area is located on the slopes of the river Dão. The Casa de Santar has been producing prestigious wines for over 300 years.

White wines from Beiras are fresh and fruity; red wines are full-bodied with an intense colour and show great ageing potential.

In the list of wine producers, there is also space for the production of organic wines. For instance, Casa Mouraz in Tondela is very devoted to red, white and rosé wines of organic production.

In 2003/2004, another wine type (or another concept of wine) emerged: Kosher wine. The Terras de Belmonte is a wine produced according to Jewish rules in Belmonte, where in the past a large Jewish community had established  itself. The big difference of this wine is the production process itself, where only Jews can intervene without the use of yeast and additional products of animal origin.

Our recommendation today comes from Bairrada. It is a rosé partially aged in oak, a very aromatic wine with balanced acidity and structure: The Filipa Pato 3B. Its producer and oenologist, Filipa Pato, does not accept the current designation of origin, and simply prefers to call her product “traditional method” while waiting to get her own appellation, something similar to the history of Cava in Catalonia.

 

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Julia Kemper Tinto Bio 2009:  A red wine from Dao DO of Julia Kemper cellar of vintage 2009. 

 

 

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Quinta de Cabriz Selected Harvest 2013: A wine red with the Dao DO of 2013 and 13º of alcohol strength.

 

Photo: Guy Moll